Chance of a Lifetime (Anderson Brothers)

By: Marissa Clarke


For weeks after the hospital, she’d called and texted his number multiple times a day with no answer. Then, her attempts got further apart until she stopped calling altogether when she finally got his silent message loud and clear. Leave me alone.

Sherry touched her shoulder. “Sorry, Gen.”

Not nearly as sorry as she was. Her entire life had been ripped out from under her that night. From that point forward, her family had helicopter hovered, never letting her go anywhere unchaperoned until two months ago, once she’d scraped enough money together from her job to rent her own apartment. Even then, she had to be sneaky and move out when Walter was out of town. But that wasn’t going to be the end of her quest for independence.

“I’m taking the rest of the week off from work. I already turned in my vacation leave notice,” she said, reaching for her cane propped against the table.

“Whoa. Vacation? That doesn’t sound like you.”

It didn’t, but Sally’s death was a game changer. “I’m on a mission. I’m going to knock out the bucket list.”

The door opened, and she turned her head to listen but the outrageously loud family leaving drowned out whoever had entered.

“What else is on your bucket list?”

“Stuff I should have done a long time ago, but played it safe instead. Not anymore. Over the next week, I’m going to do all those things I’ve been wanting to do since high school.”

“Like what? Oh my God! Tell me getting laid is on that list!”

She laughed. “The list is secret, but you’d approve. Daring and dangerous—at least it seemed to be when I was fifteen. Can you take some time off work to help me work through it?”

“I wish. I used up all my vacay days for that trip to Costa Rica, and I’m helping my sister move this weekend.”

Her bubble of determination and enthusiasm deflated like a punctured balloon. She had figured Sherry would be her sidekick for this adventure. Clearly, she hadn’t thought this out well enough. She’d acted impulsively, which always got her in trouble. Still, she was going to make this happen. “Well, I’ll just have to do it alone.” Which was next to impossible. She was savvy and totally able to navigate the city, but some of the things required a sighted person. Maybe she could hire someone… No. Sadly, she didn’t make that kind of money working at Decibels, and since Walter watched her modest trust account like a hawk, he’d know she was up to something if she made a withdrawal. He’d swoop in to tell her that what she was doing was dangerous and put a stop to it.

Her friend sat back down. “I don’t think I like the sound of this.”

She inhaled to respond and froze when the scent of Gain and mint met her nose.

She sniffed twice, loudly for show. “Hey, Sher. Do you smell something?” She turned her face toward the door and wrinkled her nose dramatically. “I smell bullshit.”

Her friend cleared her throat.

Rude wasn’t her norm, but dammit, she was pissed. First the bar, now here. “It’s hard to be full of something and not smell like it. Am I right?”

Chance laughed, which threw her a little because her entire body tightened and buzzed at the sound. It was like being a smitten fifteen-year-old all over again.

As he pulled back the chair next to her, across from Sherry, she put her hands in her lap so she wouldn’t fidget—or worse, touch him. At this point, she wasn’t sure whether she’d slap him or kiss him again. I am so screwed.

“What do you want, Chance?”

“To talk.”

Sherry’s chair scraped the floor as she stood. “Well, that’s my cue to go, kids.”

Gen grabbed her friend by the arm and yanked hard, forcing her back into her seat. “Please stay. This won’t take long. Chance has a habit of taking off all of a sudden without a word.”

“Genny, I—”

“Don’t call me that. I go by Gen. Genny was someone else. Someone stupid.”

There was a long, awkward silence before he spoke. “Gen. It’s good to see you.”

“Afraid I can’t say the same. Can’t see at all…but wait. You know that. You and Walter discussed that at length at the hospital. I’m disabled and helpless.”

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